Conversation on hair rules continues

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The Ministry of Education is continuing the conversation to review the rules and guidelines regarding hairstyles for students.

On Saturday afternoon, the Honourable Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand
hosted a round table discussion with several stakeholders in the Ministry’s boardroom
aimed at overhauling archaic school rules which disproportionately affect learners.

The Ministry of Education does not have any rules regarding hairstyles, it is the schools
that make and enforce the rules. The conversation started after students were being sent
home for trivial matters such as their hair. Minister Manickchand highlighted that this
is counterproductive to the efforts being made by the Ministry under Operation
Recovery to ensure students are back in the classrooms receiving an education.

Earlier this month, the decision was made to allow female students and teachers wear
their hair how they choose to for one day in observance of International Women’s Day
2022. This announcement sparked a widespread debate on social media and triggered a
national conversation.

During the engagement, it was noted that while the Afro-Guyanese girls are more
affected by the rules, it affects all students. Many of the persons present lamented that
not only are the the hair rules are restrictive, but they also have a greater negative
impact on students. It was noted that children’s rights and self-esteem must be
considered.

Examining rules governing hairstyles from several schools across the country, it was
highlighted that many of them are impractical and limit individuality and self-
expression.

s the conversation continues, it was noted that there is a need for education and
understanding, particularly across cultures as well as a wider societal change. The
participants were urged to continue the conversation through various means.

Discussions both for and against the archaic hair rules are welcome as it would guide
future rules.

The Ministry of Education will soon be meeting with educators to continue the
conversation to ensure a comprehensive decision is made.

Present during today’s discussion were:

1. Hon. Priya Manickchand – Minister of Education
2. Hon. Oneidge Walrond – Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce
3. Timeka Henry- Fraser- CEO Curl Fete/ Forensic Scientist
4. Bonita Harris- Activist and Educationist
5. Lyndell Danzie-Black- Corporate Trainer and Co-Founder of Influential
6. Viola Rowe- Principal (Retired) CPCE
7. Martina Johnson- Communications Specialist
8. Ingrid Fung- Retired Head Teacher, Educational Consultant
9. Cristel Cheong- Business Owner
10. Tonnica Archer- Accounting Professional
11. Allizen Welch- Attorney at Law
12. Kojo McPherson- Creative Content Producer
13. Tracey Smith- Business Development Consultant
14. Quenita Walrond- Lewis- Director, NCERD
15. Jasmin Harris- Senior Manager PR and Corporate Communications, GTT
16. Renatha Exeter- Territd, Head, PBS Technologies (Guyana)
17. Andrew Kendall – Lecturer, University of Guyana
18. Brian Smith – Father